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Biz group releases Citizens Insurance map, hoping to get lawmakers to act

Hoping to convince lawmakers to make significant reforms on the politically thorny issue of property insurance, a business group has released an interactive map showing legislators how many of their constituents are covered by Citizens Property Insurance.

The idea is to get lawmakers to realize that, in most cases, the majority of their constituents get coverage in the private market, not from government-run Citizens. That realization would theoretically make it easier for lawmakers to back legislation raising rates at Citizens.

“This is the first time we’ve looked at the data this way and it’s very telling. More than two-thirds of residents in a majority of Senate and House districts don’t have Citizens as their property insurer,” said Associated Industries of Florida president Tom Feeney in a statement.

AIF is pushing for major reforms, many of which will lead to higher insurance rates for property owners covered by Citizens, and potentially for those covered by private insurers as well. AIF says the threat of those "hurricane taxes" is bad for business. Citizens, the largest insurer in the state with 1.3 million policies, covers about 23 percent of the market.

If the company—which is running a record surplus—ever runs out of money after a massive monster hurricane, it might have to levy “assessments” on Florida consumers to make up the shortfall. Federal and state taxpayers may also pick up some of the tab, as has happened in the past after devastating storms.

Property insurance has been a tough political football because of the pocketbook impact it has on homeowners. In places like South Florida, where Citizens dominates the market, the typical family spends about 5 percent of its income on property insurance, much higher than state and national averages.

Those homeowners are very vocal come election time, so Republicans in South Florida and other high-cost coastal regions have been wary of voting for business-backed insurance bills in the past. Democrats have joined those wary Republicans to kill bills that the insurance industry wants and this year the minority party has made keeping insurance costs down part of its platform.

Looking to get lawmakers to push past the political gridlock and pass business-friendly insurance legislation, AIF has released interactive maps that show Citizens’ market presence in all 160 legislative districts in the House and Senate.

Here are links to the interactive maps that lawmakers can use to see how many people in their districts are covered by Citizens:

Senate Citizens map

House Citizens map

Comments

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Tally Folly

VOTE THESE REPUGS OUT OF OFFICE!!!!

Anti-Tallahassee

Property insurance rates are absurdly high because the Republicans allow the irrational premise that we have to be prepared for the once in 150 year storm season EVERY YEAR. This makes ZERO sense. This has allowed the insurance industry to make RECORD profits for the last 7 years. The next time we have a bad storm, the insurance industry will forget the years of collecting premiums without claims and they will claim poverty. The idiots in Tallahassee will assess all of us to pay more CORPORATE WELFARE to lying cheating insurance scum.

Linda White

I started out with Citizens when I got my reverse mortgagein February 2011 at $1900.00. Citizens sold the policy in 2012 to southern Oaks insurance. My premium this year(2013) is $3100.00/ A 68% increase! Citizens only received a 11 or 12% approved increase!MY house is only 900 sq ft in north lauderdale. I am an elderly lady with only social security income. No one from the Governor down will do anything about it.

Seth Platt

Here is the real truth.
Only 3 storms have made coastal landfall in Broward County in the last 100 years. Only one was a Hurricane at the time of coastal impact, and that was in 1964, a CAT 2.
SOOOOO why are Broward Coastal residents getting the shaft?

Don't believe me check it out yourselves.

http://www.csc.noaa.gov/hurricanes/index.html?scale=577791&qType=ids&mos=default&press=default%2Cdefault&storms=1968223N25281%2C1964234N13316%2C2005236N23285%2C1962239N25280&years=default&ll=%2D80%2E204915%2C26%2E158072&sel=cart&cats=default

Dan McOlvin

Seth is right on! The Gold Coast is getting screwed by Citizens. Citizens has Billions of dollars in reserves and re-insurance lines to cover extraordinary losses. Let's get some relief for homeowners.

B

The premiums at Citizens are not competitive with other insurance companies because of the reckless political climate that has Democrats focused on buying your vote with another handout and Republicans are content to allow it until the big one comes in so they can shout “we told you so “. The surplus being talked about at Citizens is a myth. Review the cost of a category one hurricane named “Sandy” – 51 BILLION DOLLARS, as I recall. Educate yourselves on the basic principles of insurance. Several larger and well known companies have left the state due to the enormous losses associated with hurricanes in the past as well as the huge cost of the fraudulent environment primarily in the Miami area and more recently with the sinkhole issues on the west coast. Storms don’t always blow in from the seas surrounding us. More importantly, if the citizens of Florida were to get focused on demanding a close look at the daily operations of this state run Insurance charity program called Citizens, the outrage over why other (for profit companies) home owners insurance companies are pulling back there business (cancelling your policy) and the rate increases they have imposed would be better understood as smart and very wise business. The cost of an Insurance policy from a company of “last resort” should not be cheaper than the free market price for the same coverage.
This charity of an “Insurance company” has an endless source of funding (from me and everyone else in the state) and its being recklessly spent by its executives like the drunken sailors (drunk on the power of the lack of a focused and objective medias) we voted in to leadership positions in Washington. The fact that your Citizens policy can’t be cancelled has created a feeding frenzy primarily among the “for the people” type of attorneys and Public adjusters in the Miami area – like sharks feeding on a soon to be dead whale that is kept alive by state funds - mine and your “state insurance fund” assessment. The sooner we get feed up with the daily operations of this state funded wealth redistribution program, the sooner that for the people will really have meaning and real value.
The claim of a surplus is a lie driven by the elites and democrats and reported by the liberal (and very lame) medias that are so biased against responsibly planning ahead and for the cost of insuring and protecting the real value of the financial security that can be realized through home ownership in Florida but, that is what Citizens does now; they provide handouts to buy the votes of those that refuse to plan ahead or refuse to realize the real cost of living and owning a home.

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